Scholarships and grants

Begin your search for college cash with scholarships and grants, which cost you nothing and do not have to be repaid. Remember that if a student is awarded a grant or scholarship, the college will deduct that amount from the financial aid it would otherwise have given the student.

  • Scholarships - There are numerous local and national scholarships available to students. Do your homework and apply for as many as possible. While they may not cover all of your costs, every little bit you don't have to borrow helps. Visit any of these scholarship search engines to get started, or talk to your guidance counselor or financial aid office for more resources.
  • Pell Grants - These constitute the largest of the government programs. In general, families showing financial need are eligible for grants, although families with higher incomes may also be eligible under special circumstances. For more information, visit the Federal Student Aid website.
     
  • Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG) - For families exhibiting the greatest need, the SEOG offers grants ranging from $100 to $4,000 a year. SEOG funds are limited, so it is important to submit an application as early as possible. For more information, visit the Federal Student Aid website.
     
  • State Programs - Most states provide grants based on a combination of merit and financial need. Contact your child's high school guidance counselor or state office of grants to learn what types of aid may be available and how to apply.
     
  • College Grants - Most institutions offer several kinds of grants based on need, scholastic achievement and/or talent in a special area. Some colleges give cash grants, while others offer tuition discounts. Contact the financial aid office for details.
     
  • Private Grants - Thousands of grants and scholarship programs are available to students with superior academic records, special interests and other qualifying characteristics. Check with employers and local, state and national organizations with which you or any member of your family may be affiliated. The local library is also an excellent reference.

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